I’m No Good at Math

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As a mathematics teacher I often observed students who were in a state of deep distress before, during, and after a test. Some of them had not paid attention during the lessons, nor had they taken advantage of the many tutoring opportunities that I provided. Others were just the anxious sort who fell apart emotionally at the mere mention of a challenge to regurgitate what they had learned. Many had simply struggled to master the concepts in spite of their Herculean efforts and mine. They needed more time and attention than the crowded curriculum driven by high stakes testing allowed. I felt for those who were not seemingly born with a mathematical gene that insured that they would rarely find the ideas that I presented to be problematic. It almost seemed unfair the way the normal curve of learning was so unfairly distributed among my pupils.  I desperately desired to bring understanding to as many of my charges as possible but there were always a few who so earnestly tried but still failed. I realized that our society has carved out a cookie cutter sequence of learning that is all too often ill fitting for the majority of individuals.  Continue reading “I’m No Good at Math”